Future Career Preferences of Final Year Bachelor of Pharmacy Students upon Graduation from Public and Private Universities in the Northern Region of Malaysia
Guat See Ooi, Yen Ping Ng, Jin Yi Choo, Ganesh Pandian Balasubramanian, Sireesha Paruchuri, Chia Shin Low, Thangeswary Sumdram Pillay.
Objectives: To identify the future career preferences among graduating pharmacy students from public and private universities in the northern region of Malaysia and exploring factors influencing the respondents’ choice to work in future as well as their expected starting monthly salary.
Methods: A questionnaire based, cross sectional study was conducted among final year Bachelor of Pharmacy students from one public and one private universities in the northern region of Malaysia. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data.
Key finding: A total of 175 respondents participated in the study. 72.60% of respondents were female. In terms of ethnicity, 63.40% of the respondents were Chinese, 20.00% were Malay, 11.40% were Indian and 5.10% were of other ethnicities. Public hospital remained the first choice of area of work upon graduation for students from both public and private universities. In the public university, the working environment was the most highly ranked influential factor (mean score: 4.54). Meanwhile, In the private university, professional development was the most highly ranked influential factor (mean score: 4.23). Greater than half of the students from public and private universities indicated that their expected starting monthly wages ranges between RM 3000 to RM 4000 (55.5% vs. 62.6%).
Conclusion: The most preferred career options for students from both public and private universities are public hospital. The working environment, job security, opportunity in professional development and attractive salary are the most remarkable influencing factors in selecting a future career. The acceptable starting monthly salaries by students from both public and private universities range between RM 3001 to RM 4000.